Product reviews for Games for Teaching Primary French

Clare Seccombe, Primary Languages Teacher and Independent Consultant
This book contains a wide variety of games for the primary French classroom. They cover the core aspects of the Key Stage 2 curriculum for languages. There are 20 games for each of the following skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, numbers, grammar and phonics. The introduction of each section links the games closely to the statements of the Key Stage 2 curriculum, and the numbers section makes direct links across the curriculum with maths. There are also appendices containing a list of French sounds and tongue-twisters and other rhymes to practise specific sounds. A further appendix lists suggestions for turning any language activity into a competitive game.

Many of the games cover more than one skill, and the introductions to each section show those games which can be cross-referenced to other skills. The games address word level work through to text level work. Some of the games are calm, others noisy. Teachers will find something to suit every class and every time of day. Some games involve moving around the classroom or a larger space; others are played at the table.

Vocabulary, phrases or sentences are suggested for each game, but they are easy to adapt to any topic, and can be planned using simple equipment and no technology! There are games for the whole class, for pairs or groups and for individuals.

Each game includes clear and useful step-by-step instructions, often with diagrams for further clarification, which show the teacher how to prepare for the game and then how to play it. Each game also has a key box, which shows who the game is for, which skills it practises, its aim and the resources that are needed. There is also a section at the end of each game with ideas for varying the activity and for increasing the challenge for more able or older learners. The instructions include useful French phrases that the teacher or children may wish to use while the game is in progress. Non-specialist teachers may require some support with the pronunciation of these phrases. The title of each game is also given in both English and French, again to help with using the target language.

This book is a must-read for all teachers of primary French, whether they are subject specialists or non-specialist classroom teachers. All teachers will find in this book a few games that they already know, other games that they had forgotten but are now reminded about, and also many new games with which to refresh and revitalise their repertoire and to enable their pupils to practise the language in new, motivating and fun ways.

Some educationalists dismiss games in the languages classroom as -˜the bells and whistles approach', but these games are far from being trivial or frivolous activities. They provide powerful learning opportunities and allow children to make progress while interacting and co-operating with their peers.
Guest | 02/11/2015 00:00
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